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The second preface of Giraldus Cambrensis vnto the noble Earle of Poitiers.

_HAuing beene eftsoones, and by manie requested, to register and write the historie of such noble acts doone in our times, which I haue either seene my selfe, or haue heard it crediblie reported; I was for my excuse woont to alleage the wickednesse of the time, wherein, by reason of the excessiue rio|tousnesse which so aboundeth, all things are so farre out of order, and men so carefull to pamper vp the bodie, that the mind, which of his nature is free, is now in captiuitie, and cannot haue his libertie. Neuerthelesse, considering, and diligentlie aduising with my selfe, how necessarie the knowledge of those things will be to our posteritie, and how nothing is more pernicious and hurtfull to a good wit, and an honest disposi|tion, than to lie wallowing in idlenesse and sloth; I did at length with much adoo yeeld my selfe to those requests, and resolued my selfe to satisfie the same. But yet what can be more presumptuous than to write when time serueth not, & leisure wanteth? Or to desire our owne bookes to be com|monlie read, and yet at no leisure to read our selues? Or that we should be subiect to the examina|tion and sifting of a malicious reader, and an enuious iudge, and yet we not at leisure to examine our selues? Tullius, the founteine and welspring of all eloquence, being on a time requested to make an oration, is said he did excuse himselfe, because he had not studied nor read the daie be|fore. If so famous a man, and the father of all eloquence, did so esteeme the benefit of studieng, what shall others of a farre meaner estate and learning thinke of themselues? For true it is, the wit of man if it be not reuiued with continuall and dailie reading waxeth faint and dull, and with read|ing it is increased and nourished as it were with a naturall food and sustenance. For as the full barns are soone spent, if they be not new stored; and the stocke of great wealth and treasure soone wasted & consumed, if it be not repared; euen so the knowledge of man being not dailie renewed by read|ing and perusing of other mens works dooth soone perish and decaie. We are compact and doo consist of two natures, the one temporall, the other eternall; and hauing respect to both, are to no|rish both, the earthie part with things transitorie and earthie according to the time, the heauenlie part with things perpetuall and euerlasting. The bodie for the time hath his cares; but the mind, which of his nature is free, and which cannot be shut vp, and as it were imprisoned, is neither vn|der the power of vs, nor of anie others; let it therefore inioie his owne and proper libertie which to it apperteineth, and inioie the freedome to it belonging. As for the outward man, let him wander and straie, and be troubled about manie things, let him follow vaine and trifling toies, and doo all things as will lusteth, & let him be subiect to the miserable condition of the flesh: but the inward man, which as the kernell is inclosed in the shell, let him inioie that right and priuilege which God hath giuen vnto it; let it be so warded and defended, that being in troubles, it be not troubled; and being solitarie, it be not destituted. God and the king haue ech of them their seuerall power and empire ouer vs: the king hath power onelie ouer the bodie, but the secret and incomprehensible part within vs, namelie the soule, God onelie possesseth, and he alone knoweth and searcheth the same. For it is a most noble and excellent thing, passing all other the gifts of God vnder heauen, being incomprehensible, and yet comprehending all things, and most euidentlie declaring the di|uine power which is in it. For by a certeine naturall agilitie which is in him he comprehendeth all the foure corners of the world, and in a maruellous secret celeritie dooth discerne the whole world and all that therein is: it hath the knowledge and vnderstanding of all arts, sciences & knowledges: he is onlie knowen to him that is vnknowen, seene of him that is not seene, & c├Áprehended of him which is incomprehensible. God forbid therefore, that the continuall exercises of this soule should be hindered with vaine and worldlie cares, whereby things for a time omitted or set aside should perish or be forgotten: for what is the bodie to the soule but a heauie burthen, a paine, & as it were a prison, which though not holding him, yet hindering him? For what the shell is to the kernell, the same is the flesh to the spirit, both of them carrieng his owne impediment and burthen. Where|fore right noble now earle of Poitiers, but shortlie which shall be king of England, & duke of Nor|mandie, hauing the force and helpe of this, I haue yeelded my selfe, and haue now written and dra|wen out the historie of the conquest of Ireland, and the subduing of the barbarous nation of the same in these our daies, and haue dedicated the same vnto your highnesse: that by recording the gifts thereof, and seeing how your father did grow in renowme and honor, so the same also may increase in you: and as you are knowen to be the right heire of your fathers inheritance, so you may succeed him also in his vertues and victories to your great honor. I haue hitherto trauel|led in this rude and rough matter after a grosse manner, but hereafter more fullie, and in better order to be expressed and set foorth, as time and yeares shall increase, and as I shall be more at full instructed.

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To his most reuerend lord and belo|ued in Christ, Iohn the noble and worthie king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandie and of Aquitaine, and earle of Aniou: Giraldus offereth this his simple worke, and wisheth all health both of bodie and of soule, and a prosperous successe in all things according to his hearts desire.

_IT pleased your noble and excellent father king Henrie, to send me being then attendant vpon him, ouer with you into Ireland, where when I had noted sundrie notable things, and which were strange and vnknowne to other nations: then at my returne, I made a collection and choise of the chiefest matters therein: and within three yeares, I made my booke of Topographie, of the woonders of Ireland, and of the description of that land, doone in and for the honor of your father; who hauing good liking, and being well pleased with those my trauels (for why, he was a prince (a thing rare in our times) verie well learned) his desire and pleasure was, I should also write out the historie of the last conquest of the same land, made by him and his. Which renewing my former trauels I did: but neither it, nor these my paines were considered. For vertue commonlie is more commended than rewarded. But because by negligence, or rather by reason of the great businesse, where|with I was incumbred: I had almost forgotten the site, nature, and maner of the west parts of the said land, which I had not seene a long time. I thought it good to ouerrun, and peruse againe my said worke, and being better corrected, to dedicat the same vnto your highnesse. Wherein our historie taketh his be|ginning from the time that Dermon mac Morogh prince of Leinster was driuen out of his countrie by his owne men, and fled to your father then being in Aquitane: most humblie crauing, and at length obteining aid and succor, vntill your first comming into that land, when I was with you: and haue faith|fullie declared in order, what things were there doone by euerie of these noble men and capteins, which then passed thither; euen from the first to the last; and what good or euill was doone by them.

In which historie as in a glasse, a man may most apparantlie and euidentlie see and discerne truth; who, and what they were which deserued the most honor in this conquest; whether the first aduenturers out of the diocesse of saint Dauids my cousins and kinsmen; or they of the diocesse of Landaff, who came next, and who in verie deed are gentlemen, but more in name than valiant in act; and who vpon the good successe of the first, hoping to haue the like themselues, went ouer: or else they which passed ouer the third time, who were well and fullie furnished at all points with good store of armor, vittell, and o|ther necessaries. Surelie they deserued well, who gaue the first aduenture: and they also are much to be commended, which continued the same: but they deserued best, who went ouer last. For they not onelie did establish and confirme the authoritie and dooings of the first and second, but also made a finall end, and brought the whole countrie into subiection. But alas, by reason of their too hastie returning from thense, and of the vnnaturall warres and rebellion of the sonnes against their father, the land could not be brought to a perfect order, nor the things begun could haue his full perfection. Wherefore, ├┤ no|ble king, despise not the great trauels and labors of your father, nor yet my poore paines herein. Doo not impart your honor and glorie to the vnworthie and vnthankefull: neither for the coueting of an Iland of siluer to hazard the losse of one of gold: the one far passing and exceeding the other in value. For the gold of Arabia and the siluer of Achaia doo both fill a mans cofer alike: but the one more in price and value than the other. Besides this, there is another thing which might persuade you to be mindfull, and haue some regard of the land of Ireland. It hath pleased God and good fortune to send you manie children, both naturall, and also legitimat; and more hereafter you may haue. It were therefore verie good as you may, to appoint and place in those two kingdomes, two of your sonnes to be gouernors and rulers of them: and vnder them to appoint a great number of your men, and endow them liberallie with great liuings and liuelehoods; and especiallie in Ireland, which as yet is rude, vnnurtured, and nothing to the purpose by our men inhabited. But if so be that neither for the increasing of your owne honor, the inriching of your treasurie, nor for the aduancing of your children, you will haue respect to your realme of Ireland; yet haue some consideration of your poore veterans and old seruitors, who haue most faithfullie and trusti|lie serued both you and your father, and by whose seruice that realme of Ireland was first conquered; and is yet kept and reteined; and yet are supplanted by such yoong nouices and yoonkers as are of late gone EEBO page image 69 thither, to inioy and to succeed into the fruits of other mens trauels, fortune better fauoring them, than vertue commending. And the follie of these men is growne to such a pride and arrogancie, that as it is said, they are greatlie to be suspected to aspire and to vsurpe the whole seigniorie and dominion to them|selues, which it lieth you vpon to see to be quailed and abated.

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